Omnibus includes $12 million for demolition projects

Demolishing blighted buildings isn’t cheap. Five communities in the Midwest are slated to get $4.65 million from the federal government to cover the cost — all thanks to earmarks in the massive omnibus spending bill introduced by Senate Democrats yesterday.

Michigan makes out best in the demolition department. Three cities — Ecorse, Jackson and River Rouge — made the cut. Two others, Gary, Ind., and Green Bay, Wis., are also among the cities securing earmarks for economic development and neighborhood improvement projects.

These cities represent only a fraction of the $12.75 million devoted to demolition in the omnibus. The 1,924-page spending bill introduced Tuesday totals $1.27 trillion and includes $8 billion worth of earmarks.

Demolition projects are located in the Department of Housing and Urban Development section of the legislation. Not all of the earmarks are exclusively for demolition; some include reconstruction.

Here’s the complete list, along with members of Congress sponsoring the earmarks:

• $1,500,000 for the city of Green Bay , Wis., for the demolition of blighted building. Sponsored by Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.), who was defeated in November by his Republican challenger.

• $1,500,000 for the city of Jackson, Mich., for demolition of buildings and neighborhood redevelopment. Sponsored by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), who was defeated in November by his Republican challenger.

• $1,000,000 for the city of Ecorse, Mich., for the demolition of blighted buildings. Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), who lost in the Democrat primary this year. Kilpatrick is the mother of incarcerated former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

• $500,000 for the city of River Rouge, Mich., for the demolition of blighted buildings. Also sponsored by Kilpatrick.

• $500,000 for the city of Gary, Ind., for the demolition of buildings and neighborhood redevelopment. Sponsored by Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), who was forced to temporarily step down as chairman of the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee last year amid a federal grand jury investigation.

• $5,000,000 for the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority for demolition and reconstruction of low-income housing in the Rosedale Court housing community. Sponsored by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

• $600,000 for the city of Woonsocket, R.I., for site demolition and environmental remediation to accommodate a public drinking water facility. Sponsored by Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

• $500,000 for the city of Enterprise, Ala., for demolition, planning, construction, and renovation of the downtown business district. Sponsored by Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), who was defeated in November by his Republican challenger.

• $500,000 for the city of Rockford, Ill., for land acquisition, demolition, and infrastructure improvements. Sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

• $500,000 for the city of Fullerton, Calif., for demolition, planning, design and construction of a community center. Sponsored by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.).

• $400,000 for the city of Council Bluffs, Iowa, to demolish facilities located near 1st Avenue for the purpose of improving the West Broadway Corridor. Sponsored by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

• $400,000 for St. Joseph Community Center in Lorain, Ohio, for demolition, remediation and renovation of the facility. Sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio).

• $200,000 for the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles, Calif., for demolition and reconstruction of a facility. Sponsored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.).

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